Keeping it simple: mental health assessment in the Gastroenterology Department – using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) for IBD patients in Israel

Asia Avinir, Shira Dar, Michal Taler, Ola Haj, Doron Gothelf, Uri Kopylov, Shomron Ben-Horin, Ehud Mekori-Domachevsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Depression and anxiety are common among inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. Not only do they worsen quality of life, but also worsen the prognosis of the IBD. Yet, there are no widely accepted guidelines for screening for depression or anxiety in this population. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) is a self-administered questionnaire designed to measure anxiety and depression in the physically ill. The purpose of this study was to establish the utility of the HADS as a screening tool in IBD patients. Methods: Seventy-nine IBD patients (age 29.86 ± 8.36, 51.9% female, 77.2% Crohn’s disease) were recruited consecutively at the day treatment unit, Gastroenterology Department, Sheba Medical Center. They were asked to complete the HADS, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). The scores of the HADS depression and anxiety subscales were correlated with the BDI and STAI scores, and the rates of above-threshold scores were calculated and compared between the three questionnaires and findings from previous studies. Results: The two HADS subscales significantly correlated with and the BDI (rs =.69, p < 0.001) and STAI state and trait anxiety (rs =.853, p < 0.001; rs =.744, p < 0.001, respectively). The usual HADS cut-off scores yielded adequate rate of anxiety but lower than expected depression rates. Conclusions: Our findings suggest the HADS as a valid screening tool for anxiety and depression in IBD patients. We recommend administering it routinely in gastrointestinal (GI) follow-ups using a lower cut-off score for depression than anxiety (greater than 7 vs greater than 11, respectively).

Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology
Volume14
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • HADS
  • IBD
  • anxiety
  • depression

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